15 Lessons I Wish I Knew Before College

15 Lessons I Wish I Knew Before College

There are a lot of things about college I wish someone would have explained to me - here are a few.

There are a lot of things about college that are way different from high school, that totally goes without saying. You're miles away from home, just to begin with. Or maybe you're not, but you're still surrounded by a million new people and a million new things and thousands more opportunities. Here are a few things I've learned so far in college that I wish someone had told me:

1. Your Immune System is NOT a Brick Wall

If you never, ever got sick in high school and you're thinking that college is going to be the same way, think again. There's new people, a new atmosphere, and new germs. I never got sick in high school, but here I am battling a cold in the middle of Philadelphia! I'm telling you, bring along some medicine and DRINK WATER. Seriously, do everything you can to keep yourself healthy; you'll be happy about it later.

2. Take Advantage of FREE Things

It's no secret that college is really expensive, but if you go to the right kind of university, you'll be surrounded by weird little free things that you should take advantage of! Seriously. Utilize things that are free to students, even if you don't feel like you need to. You'll use that free water bottle, I promise you. Learn how to manage your money! You won't be sorry you did.

3. People Who Suck in High School Will Not Magically Change

It's just a fact of life. Some people get totally stuck in the glory days of high school. Let them be. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have loved your high school days and love the memories you've made - in fact, it's a good thing. Just know that the people who were miserable and mean in high school are probably going to be miserable and mean in college. Attitude is everything - make sure yours is good.

4. Call Your Parents

You're going to miss them, even if you don't think you will. You're going to miss home cooked meals and chicken noodle soup when you're sick and you're even going to miss stepping on your brother's legos. (OK, only a little, those things really hurt.) Call your family. Tell them you miss them. Tell them you love them. You'll only feel good about it.

5. Engage With Other People

Making friends in college is a lot like making friends in elementary school - if you're pleasant and just make conversation, boom you've got someone to wave hi to in passing. You may even find that the kid that sits next to you in English is tons of fun and maybe you'll become friends. Even if you're in a lecture with five or six hundred people, say hi to the person next to you. There's a very slim chance they won't say hi back.

6. Make Friends Outside of your Major

There are so many people on a college campus, it's not hard to find someone who is similar - or different - than you. You spend a lot of time with the people in your major, but it's important to get to know other people's views and branch out sometimes. There's no shortage of people to talk to and meet. Join some clubs! It's the easiest way to find people who like the same things. And, it'll get you out of your room!

7. You Live With the People on your Floor

What I mean by this is: don't leave your laundry in the dryer, respect quiet hours, and step outside your room sometimes. It's pointless to start petty drama with the people on your floor, because you have to live with them. Seriously. Go outside and make friends with the people next door to you - they've got you when you need some sugar or a spoon.

8. Make Friends with the RA

They're only there to help you. Unless they've totally got it out for you, they'll probably leave you alone. But it's a really good idea to get on good terms with them, because they know their way around campus and will tell you a bunch of cool stuff if you ask the right questions. Don't try to fight them on everything. It'll only get you written up when something goes wrong.

9. Find Time to do Something for Yourself

Living with a roommate and being constantly surrounded by people can be fun, but make sure you find some time alone. Whether that be walking to get some coffee, finding a quiet little reading corner, or doing something nice for yourself. It's important to keep yourself grounded, especially when you're surrounded by so much excitement. Do yoga or go to the park! Do anything! Your body and mind will thank you.

10. You Don't Have to be the Same Person You Were in High School

When everyone tells you that college is different from high school, listen to them. It so is. You can totally reinvent yourself if you want to. Embrace the changes and be who YOU want to be.

11. No One Cares

What I mean by this is: if you want to go get pizza in your pajamas at 12 AM, really, no one cares. In high school it's easy to get caught up in wanting to look cool and making sure everyone likes you, etc. In college, no one else really cares what you do, which is kind of great. You can dress up for class, or you can wear sweats. You can do both in one week. No one's gonna bat an eye.

12. GO OUT

Going out does NOT have to mean partying. Going out to the movies or to dinner with your friends or just to do something fun is really important. Don't stay holed up in your room. Just find some time to laugh. And if partying is what you want to do, then do it. (Just study Sunday through Thursday!) It doesn't make a difference what it is you do. No one will care if you don't go to the party, and similarly, no one's going to judge if you do. Just get out sometimes.

13. Do Your Homework - Save Online Shopping for When ou're Done

We all have computers, and it's really easy to get bored of writing that essay or doing the readings and way more fun to online shop or check Twitter. Resist the urge. The sweater is not going to sell out in the next five minutes. If you get your homework done now, you have more time for fun later. Studying now means that when your friends want to go for ice cream, you can say yes.

14. Do the Readings

Pop quizzes are totally a thing. Even if you think it's not going to make a difference if you read the article, it really is.


You're in college first and foremost, to learn. You should be doing a lot of learning - about the subjects you study, about the world, and about yourself. In between all that learning, find some time to have fun. Like I said before: Having fun doesn't need to mean going out. Just find time to laugh and talk and engage with other people. Netflix will still be there - the opportunity to make a memory won't. But, opportunities will keep coming. Go out and seize one.

Cover Image Credit: Google

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.


I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

Related Content

Facebook Comments